Uttarakhand HC orders floor test in state Assembly to find out which party has majority

The Uttarakhand High Court on Tuesday ordered a floor test in the Uttarakhand Assembly on Thursday to resolve the political crisis and determine which party has majority in the House.

The court also stayed President's Rule in Uttarakhand, according to NDTV.

Uttarakhand HC orders floor test in state Assembly to find out which party has majority

Representational image. IBNLive

News reports also said that all MLAs will take part in the floor test, including the nine disqualified MLAs who will be allowed to participate during the proceedings of the Assembly only during the floor test.

The court also appointed its registrar to be an observer during this test.

Reports further said that the result of the floor test will not be revealed immediately. CNN-IBN reported that the result will be enclosed in a sealed envelope by the Speaker and sent to the court.

Directions have also been given to the Uttarakhand DGP to ensure the floor test takes place in a peaceful way.

Addressing reporters after the court's order, Congress leader Abhishek Manu Singhvi said, "The matter was argued extensively. The high court has passed an order which, according to us, accepts the point that despite President's Rule, there is enough scope for judicial review to allow the floor test. The floor test was called for on the basis of past precedents of the Supreme Court."

He also said that the charges against Rawat do not justify President's Rule.

"Mere horse trading allegations will not justify President's Rule. The court has implemented what the governor has said thrice and what the chief minister agreed to twice.

"The court has allowed, only for the purposed of counting, voting by disqualified and non-disqualified MLAs. Votes of disqualified MLAs will kept separately for identification, subject to the outcome," he said.

On the question of disqualification of nine rebel Congress MLAs, Singhvi said the court did not set it aside and a final decision on it will come later.

He said both the sides would consider their future legal recourse.

The Congress on Monday had legally challenged the imposition of President's Rule in Uttarakhand as it sparred with BJP, accusing the Centre of toppling its government when the governor had given time to the chief minister to prove his majority in the Assembly.

The dislodged chief minister had moved the Uttarakhand High Court in Nainital, questioning the Centre's decision bringing the hill state under President's Rule.

Rawat's petition had come up before the single-judge bench of Justice UC Dhyani, who after hearing both sides, had said the matter would be taken up again on Tuesday. It was filed on Rawat's behalf by senior Supreme Court counsel Abhishek Manu Singhvi.

Singhvi had contended that circumstances were not suitable for invoking Article 356 of the Constitution under which the government was sacked and the Assembly kept under suspended animation.

With inputs from PTI

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Updated Date: Mar 29, 2016 16:08:00 IST

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